COLUMBIA- The Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) received $300,000 last week to fund its Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program.
The program aims to help low-income families with finding affordable housing in Columbia.
Columbia Housing Authority Chief Executive Officer Phil Steinhaus said the program issues a housing assistance voucher to low-income families that allows them to rent in the private market.
“They pay 30 percent of their adjusted household income for rent and we make up the balance of the rent,” Steinhaus said.
Funding was granted to the CHA due to the growing need throughout the community.
“We met as a community to look at what the needs were for our community because we know the coronavirus pandemic has had a great impact on a lot of families,” Columbia Housing Authority Chief Operations Officer Andrea Tapia said. “If you were already having issues with rent subsidies or paying your rent or if you are having issues with utilities or things of that sort the pandemic had a greater impact on those particular families.”
Families who qualify for the program will receive a voucher to gain assistance with rent and other household-related expenses. However, single people are also eligible to apply.
“We’re looking at families who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless, and we’re looking at families who are receiving some type of supportive services as well. You do have to be low-income so there is an income threshold that you do have to meet,” Tapia said. “So those individuals who are referred to us from other agencies that are provided supportive services would be eligible for program subsidy.”
The City of Columbia approved the CHA for the grant since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of families to struggle.
“It was identified as a high priority need in the city’s consolidated plan and in addition, the city received some CARES Act funding,” Steinhaus said.
Applications for the program will open soon.